Seated behind the steering wheel of a 20-foot bread truck painted robin’s egg blue, Amanda Needham takes a sharp turn onto NW 21st Avenue without batting a black-mascaraed eyelash. In the back, Monika Schmidt sits beneath racks of vintage cropped fur jackets and beaded silk dresses. “I took [the truck] around the block once and had a panic attack,” she says.
Needham and Schmidt are the minds behind Mickle & Mod, a six-month-old traveling boutique housed in a delivery truck. They carry new and vintage women’s clothing and accessories from modern lines like Luxury Jones and Voom. The stylists, whose client lists are peppered with names like Gus Van Sant and the Decemberists, were struck by inspiration in 2008 while working on the feature film Some Days Are Better Than Others. “The producers said, ‘We can’t afford a driver for your wardrobe truck; we’ll need you to drive it.’ It hit us like a ton of bricks that we could do something like this: drive around town in a cool truck selling clothes,” Needham says.
Beyond posting their whereabouts on their website and Twitter, the pair can be found outfitting gallery-hoppers at First Thursday and parked at local fashion events. Schmidt hopes that by bringing garments from the showroom to the pavement, Mickle & Mod can give Portlanders a spontaneous alternative to brick-and-mortar shops. The best part? They’ll do the driving.